boston, Italian, Sweets, Uncategorized

Mammamaria- Boston, MA

Pasta is most likely one of the most popular dishes to make, for all ages. From macaroni and cheese to lasagna, kindergarten well into ones adulthood pasta is just universal across the board. I think we can all agree, however, that everyone cooks pasta differently. Some people prefer it to be al dente meaning a firmer bite, others like it to be soft to the point that it practically disinigrates in your mouth. No matter how you cook it though, there is a correct way to cook pasta where its firm yet is still melt in your mouth. It can be hard to tell what that should taste or feel like, but if you go to Mammamaria they’ll demonstrate how to do it perfectly. 

The North End is obviously flooded with delicious Italian restaurants, but you can feel the difference when you go into higher end restaurant like Mammamaria. The ambiance inside makes you feel like you’ve just walked into a movie scene, beautifully placed utensils and exquisite, Italian inspired design plates. Tables placed fairly close together makes it feel like a cozy trattoria. The staff are both inviting and professional, the waiters filling water glasses and clearing plates as often as they can. The beautiful decor makes for a lovely ambiance inside and hearing the room filled with laughter makes for a wonderful evening. 

The select evening menu was filled with all the delicious classic Italian dishes made with local New England products. For our antipasti, or appetizer, we selected the cheese sampler, three different cheeses with fresh colorful tomatoes and drizzle of olive oil. Local ricotta and mozzarella from Massachusetts and bufala mozzarella from Naples are all melt in your mouth on top of the fresh bread. The bufala was the best by far, so creamy and milky, bursting with flavor.

For the main course the menu was full of innovative and different combinations, but I wanted to judge Mamma’s by the classic Italian, bolognese. And Mamma Maria was this bolognese good. The meat was seasoned and cooked perfectly, the sauce delicious with a tangy taste almost and flavorful with every bite. The pasta, as discussed in the opening, was cooked as it is meant to be cooked. Not too soft, not too stiff. A good bite too it and cooked throughout, not a single strand of pasta out of line. Garnished with fresh Parmesan grated right from the block and you are beginning to feel Italian. 

Another notable menu item was the summertime squash ravioli. Filled with green and yellow squash and corn, the filling was very refreshing as well as flavorful. The ravioli pasta was done just right and you can tell delicate hands in the kitchen sculpted the tiny pillows of cheese heaven. 

Finally, a meal like this isn’t complete without a homemade, warm Italian dessert. From a list that made the decision extremely hard, this menu item was a standout. A warm puff pastry that held a mixture of delicious crisp apples and cinnamon spices topped with freshly whipped cream and chocolate and caramel drizzles. Each bite was like a new sensation of the flavors coming together in harmony, the sweet cream, tartness of the apples, and crunch of flaky pastry. 

It is the place to enjoy a spectacular Italian meal, a meal that may be as close as it gets to being in Italy. Meals like this perpetuate meaningful conversation, as you’re huddled together discussing the food as well as family conversation. One thing to point out is that a meal like this doesn’t come cheap, but its a meal few and far between. Savor, enjoy, and love meals like this. Go for it, you can figure out finances down the road, but a meal like this is worth every penny. Not just for the food, but for the memories. 

Standard
Bakery, Baking Recipes, Cookies, Sweets, Uncategorized

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love my chocolate, as I’m sure many of you have realized by now. And peanut butter and chocolate is one of the best combinations to ever be invented. So when this recipe popped up on my Pinterest from Butter with a Side of Bread, I knew I had to try it.

The recipe is absolutely perfect and these are indeed probably one of the best peanut butter chocolate chip cookies I’ve had/made. No substitutions needed for it, I baked the cookies for 10 minutes and was very satisfied with the softness of them. However, if you like really gooey cookies lean more towards an 8 minute baking time. Super easy to make and all ingredients you can find in a common household, if you’re like me and keep peanut butter and chocolate chips on hand all the time. I highly recommend this recipe, perfect for everyone! And don’t forget the classic fork marks!

Standard
Bakery, Baking Recipes, Breakfast, Sweets, Uncategorized

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I don’t know about you, but I always seem to be going through bananas like crazy. Yes, because I’m eating them all, but also because they turn brown so quickly. So what should you do with ripe bananas? Make banana bread of course! And because you should always have chocolate chips in your house, why wouldn’t you make banana bread with them in it! I originally found this recipe on Pinterest and it is by far my favorite. Tina’s Chic Corner recipe is adapted perfectly, especially with the use of Greek yogurt. Other than that, every ingredient is pretty standard that most people have them in the house so if you’re looking for a nice breakfast idea for the family or just for yourself I highly recommend this! I’ve also wrapped it in aluminum foil and have been able to nibble at it for a couple days after baking it. Makes for a quick and delicious breakfast on the go! Prep is easy and baking time is perfect! Happy Baking! 

Standard
American, Italian, Sweets

Cafe Bella- Fort Worth, TX

I’m going to tell you right now, this blog post has the happiest ending. 

The story begins with my friend and I journeying to a quaint Italian restaurant behind the cultural arts district of Fort Worth. Upon walking in the man asked if we had a reservation, which we didn’t, and told us he could not seat us until after 8. We left, knowing we could get a meal somewhere else without waiting two hours.

We drove past our second choice which proved to be very crowded and was hosting a private party which insinuated getting a table would be difficult. We were left to try our third choice, Cafe Bella.

Back behind TCU, yonder from the baseball field and Bellaire, is Cafe Bella with its charming ambiance and fantastic outdoor patio. Upon walking in you knew it had a family feel, unlike the first place we tried, and you could tell it was a local hang out with several older couples saying hello to each other while passing by.

Our waiter was amazing, he made sure my friend and I were taken care of and checked in with us frequently, but not too much to be annoying. He was extremely polite whenever he had to interject our gabbing. The waitstaff was very good as well, clearing plates in a timely manner and always asking if we were done. 

Now to the food! The first thing to catch our eyes and ears was when our waiter said “your bread is in the oven”. It came out nice and warm and they were pretty big. They had a nice crisp top and were nice and fluffy on the inside. The classic olive oil with pepper flakes and basil indicated that we were most likely going to enjoy a pretty classic Italian meal (for being in Texas). 

 

The menu is pretty extensive, pretty classic. I opted to try the chicken Dardan which was lightly breaded chicken with sundried tomatoes, mushrooms, and green onions. It was a very delicious dish, the chicken was cooked perfectly, loved how they got the meat thin and tender. The spaghetti with it wasn’t al dente and the sauce was definitely worth saving some of my bread to zoup up. The presentation was very appealing, the sprinklings of green around the rim of the plate. In my opinion the tomatoes could have had more of a sundried taste, they just seemed pretty blah, but they complimented the dish and gave it some color. 


Finally how could you have a great Italian meal without some tiramisu. Again, the presentation was very appealing and the layers were so clear and defined. The lady fingers weren’t soaked and the whipped topping was light and powerful with flavor.

Now I said this story had a happy ending and it does. Sometimes life throws curve balls you aren’t expecting, like having to go to your third choice restaurant. Somehow it all works out because I think the first place we tried to go to would have been delicious, but full of stuck up rich old folk. Cafe Bella is perfect, you feel at home, you know it’s going to be delicious because of all the locals. Being in the TCU community proves to be special, because at the end of the night another couple grabbed our ticket and paid for our meal. The older woman turned to us and said “you go to TCU, you need all the help you can get” obviously knowing how expensive to is to go to college, be a student, and still go to dinner with a really great friend. If it wasn’t for the first place telling us we had to wait two hours, we never would have had such an incredible meal surrounded by amazing strangers. Cafe Bella is certainly someplace I’ll be enjoying for years to come.

Standard
Ice Cream, Sweets

Melt- Fort Worth, TX

Let’s be honest, it’s never too cold for ice cream. There is something about ice cream that just immediately comforts you, even on a cold winters night when you have a bowl snuggling with you under the blankets. With Blue Bell only recently coming back, what have the people of Fort Worth been doing? Getting their ice cream fix at Melt. 

Located just a ways down West Rosedale, practically to Hemphill Street, sits the bright coloured yellow store front of Melt. Only having made its debut in the last year or two, you walk in and can feel the warmth of friends and the sweet smells of the always changing delicious ice cream flavours. The down part of the space is the size. There really isn’t much parking besides the street and the store itself is very small. Prepare yourself if it ends up being crowded and you planned to sit there and enjoy your ice cream. 

It’s all the real stuff, homemade ice cream, homemade waffle cones, the whole shebang. The most recent time I went they had an assortment of fall inspired flavours. From a chocolate marshmallow hot chocolate to chai spiced ice creams, it all tasted like fall. I ended up going with the Apples and Oats flavour. 

Not only did it taste like an apple pie, but it had real apples and oats in the ice cream. That’s when you know it’s legit. Every bite was more and more delicious, the base of the ice cream being super creamy and dense like you’d want a cup of ice cream to be.  

Melt doesn’t have a website, but they are on Facebook where their hours and location is posted. I highly recommend you and your family try this cute little place out, it’s worth the wait (even if there is a line!) 

 

Standard